Apple poised to lead US smartphone market – but not for long

Apple poised to lead US smartphone market – but not for long

Bragging rights are a strange thing. Finding out that your make of phone is the most popular doesn't make it any better than it was before, but it feels good anyway.

And in the unlikely event you iPhone owners are lacking in feel-good factor, here's some news to add some fresh ammunition to your argument: Apple is not far from overtaking RIM as the number one smartphone maker in the US.

That's according to some eMarketer number-crunching, which says RIM took 30% of the US smartphone market in 2010, just ahead of Apple's 28%. And far be it for us to help Apple fans in their one-upmanship, but let's not forget that's one iPhone versus several BlackBerrys.

eMarketer confidently predicts that 2011 will see Cupertino's wonder-phone overtake its BB rivals as smartphone top-dog, with the 2011 percentages set to end 30-25 in the iPhone's favour.

But just when Apple has claimed the crown, eMarketer says, Android will come along and snatch it from Steve Jobs' grasping fingers. By 2012, Android is predicted to have 31% of US smartphone users' affections, above both its rivals. And with such a long list of Android-based phones being lined up to hit the market over the next 18 months, it's a momentum neither we, nor eMarketer, sees shifting.

Or, to put it in marketing-speak courtesy of eMarketer analyst Noah Elkin: “With a growing roster of manufacturer and carrier partners in every major market and market segment, scale for Android is coming quickly in terms of device, market share, apps and ad revenues.”

What is the significance of numbers from the US market here in the UK? Simply that both the iPhone and BlackBerry are strongest in their home markets in North America, so if Android is about to claim supremacy there, it really is a blow to both brands – probably more so than their performance anywhere else.

Read more about: iOSApple iPhone 4AndroidBlackberry OS

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